I have always been a little uncomfortable with the wealth I have been born into. I had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I was born into a middle class family living in one of the most prosperous nations on the face of the earth. I have never lacked for food or clothing or lived in a war zone. To much has been given, much is required.
I don’t think God has anything against wealth; I think He is against small heartedness and a spirit that says, “I’ll get and keep mine.” Consider Nabal who is described as “surly and mean in his dealings.” When David’s men seek Nabal’s hospitality, he responds with judgement and accuses them of acting on their own behalf; he turns them away hungry and empty handed. Then there is the rich man who lives in luxury and comfort and ignores the starving and suffering Lazarus living just outside of his gated home. What would it have cost Nabal and the rich man to extend even the smallest amount of hospitality? In the end, it cost the two of them their very lives. Nabal is remembered as “fool” and the rich man remains nameless and known only for his stinginess.
I think God is all for exuberant generosity extended without judgement. He is for large and open hearts that share their homes and tables out of gratitude to the One who gave up his very life for them. I think God asks us to live creatively and wisely as we live in a world of haves and have nots. This takes time. There are no easy answers to poverty and need, but to allow ourselves to feel nothing, do nothing when human need presents itself is to push away the Holy Spirit who longs to breathe life into broken hearts.
Lord Jesus, may I follow you wherever lead. Keep me from finding excuses, take away my fear when it comes to responding to the needs that camp at my door. Make me more like you. Amen